2008 Motocross of Nations Preview

September 25, 2008
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Each of the U.S. riders won their respective divison. - Sunday
The 2007 American squad took top honors but the roster has been changed a bit this year. Ricky Carmichael has been replaced by James Stewart, but Team USA is still the heavy favorite in Donington.

It’s that time of year again when America’s finest take on the rest of the motocross world in the storied and famed FIM Red Bull Motocross of Nations. Held on the winding circuit of Donington Park in Great Britain, American riders James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry will be looking for their fourth consecutive Chamberlain Trophy and 19th overall against 34 other countries.

Originally planned to be held in Northern Ireland, Bubba, RV Park and Red Dog are all riding green aboard their factory Kawasakis at the British venue following a switch by the FIM. Stewart is making his return appearance after missing the 2007 MXoN on his home turf at Budds Creek due to a knee injury. The current AMA National champion will be contesting the MX1 division on his Monster Energy KX450F. The last time Stewart raced an MXoN event he was passed by FIM legend Stefan Everts as the Belgian rider swept around the outside of a rutted turn. Don’t count on seeing anything like that go unchallenged in GB.

Ferry will be on a similarly prepped KX450F. Like last year, RV will be in the MX2 class where he smoked everyone in 2007 on a Monster Pro Circuit KX250F. However, unlike the Maryland track, European layouts tend to be far less aggressive with jumps and feature more of a flowing, natural terrain format. Not to say that the Americans can’t play the pin-it-to-win-it game, but they won’t have the distinct home field advantage of ’07. Instead, that honor will go to the Brits, Billy Mackenzie, Tommy Searle and Shaun Simpson.

Chad Reed will make his debut race on the RM-Z450 which he will use to contest the 2009 AMA Supercross series.

Searle finished second this season in the FIM MX2 World Championship with Simpson two spots back in fourth. Mackenzie was ninth in the MX1 division. At the Great Britain round, Searle swept both motos and the KTM rider is looking to repeat this weekend.

Other challengers include the French squad which finished second last year. Sebastien Pourcel, Steven Frossard and Nicolas Aubin will try to move one position higher this time around while the Belgians and Italians bring heavy-hitters as well. David Philappaerts is the reigning MX1 champ and leads the team from Italy, but Steve Ramon and Ken de Dycker were second and third, respectively, and will be headlining for Belgium. The MXoN is the perfect opportunity for the Belgians to exact their revenge on a hard-fought, 15-round season. New Zealand can’t be overlooked either with Josh Coppins (MX1), Daryl Hurley (MX2) and Cody Cooper (MX3).

This will be the first opportunity to see Chad Reed in action on his new Suzuki ride, as well as his first attack on Stewart since the indoor season by lining up in the MX1 division. The ’08 World SX champion leads countrymen, but fellow AMA racers, Brett Metcalfe (MX2) and Michael Byrne (MX3). The Aussies had some tough motos in 2007, but they should be able to score a very solid result if Lady Luck doesn’t screw them over again.

The English are a jolly bunch. – Friday
British fans are always some of the best and they’ll be out in droves to support their riders on the home track of Donington.

Australia isn’t the only country that has to pull its riders out of American race series. Canada tapped Dusty Klatt, Brazil has Antonio Balbi Jr., Zach Osborne and Tarah Geiger ride for Puerto Rico. Geiger made history last year as the first woman to compete. Plus, Cooper is now riding for the Kiwis.

The MXoN also allows for unique situations where fast families can often compete together to represent their country. Several sets of brothers will line up this year with Estonia’s Tanel and Aigar Leok, the Pashchynskyi’s from Ukraine and Paulo and Rui Goncalves of Portugal.

As of now, the weather forecast is calling for sunny skies this weekend so the racing should be unencumbered. Qualifying for the main program on Sunday will take place on Saturday.

2008 MXoN Rider Entry List

1 U.S.
Stewart James Mx1 Kaw 450
Villopoto Ryan Mx2 Kaw 250
Ferry Tim Open Kaw 450

2 France
Pourcel S,bastien Mx1 Kaw 450
Frossard Steven Mx2 Kaw 250
Aubin Nicolas Open Yam 450

3 Belgium
De Dycker Ken Mx1 Suz 450
Van Horebeek J. Mx2 KTM 250
Ramon Steve Open Suz 450

4 Italy
Philippaerts David Mx1 Yam 450
Monni Manuel Mx2 Yam 250
Salvini Alex Open Suz 450

5 Great Britain
Mackenzie Billy Mx1 Hon 450
Searle Tommy Mx2 KTM 250
Simpson Shaun Open KTM 250

6 Spain
Barragan Jonathan Mx1 KTM 450
Campano Carlos Mx2 Yam 250
Lozano Alvaro Open KTM 505

7 Japan
Arai Hiroaki Mx1 Kaw 450
Kitai Yoshiki Mx2 Suz 250
Kojima Yohei Open Suz 450

8 Switzerland
Bill Julien Mx1 Hon 450
Tonus Arnaud Mx2 KTM 250
Walther Patrick Open Yam 500

9 Germany
Nagl Maximilian Mx1 KTM 450
Schiffer Marcus Mx2 KTM 250
Siegl Daniel Open Suz 450

10 Canada
Facciotti Colton Mx1 Yam 450
Medaglia Tyler Mx2 Suz 250
Klatt Dusty Open Kaw 450

11 Estonia
Leok Tanel Mx1 Kaw 450
Krestinov Gert Mx2 KTM 250
Leok Aigar Open Yam 450

12 South Africa
Bradshaw Neville Mx1
Rattray Tyla Mx2 KTM 250
Fitzgerald Kerim Open

13 Ireland
Crockard Gordon Mx1 Hon 450
Barr Martin / Tbc Mx2 Yam 250
Garrett Wayne Open Suz 450

14 Sweden
Hultman Andreas Mx1 Suz 450
Thuresson Filip Mx2 Suz 250
Carlsson Johan Open Suz 450

15 Latvia
Freibergs Lauris Mx1 Yam 450
Bobkovs Aigars Mx2 KTM 250
Livs Davis Open Yam 450

16 Brazil
Nunes Da Silva L. Mx1 Hon 450
Carlos Ramos Jean Mx2 Hon 250
Jorge Balbi Jr A. Open Hon 450

17 Czech Republic
Michek Martin Mx1 Hon 450
Smitka Petr Mx2 Yam 250
Zerava Martin Open Hon 450

18 Portugal
Goncalves Paulo Mx1 Hon 450
Goncalves Rui Mx2 KTM 250
Correia Luis Open Suz 450

19 Australia
Reed Chad Mx1 Suz 450
Metcalfe Brett Mx2 Kaw 250
Byrne Michael Open Suz 450

20 Ukraine
Morozov Roman Mx1 Tm 450
Pashchynskyi O. Mx2 KTM 250
Pashchynskyi M. Open KTM 450

21 Venezuela
Sandoval Michel Mx1 Yam 450
Martin Humberto Mx2 Yam 250
Macia Fernando Open Yam 450

22 Puerto Rico
Aponte Gino Mx1 Yam 450
Gieger Tarah Mx2 Yam 250
Osborne Zach Open Yam 450

23 Iceland
Thordarson V. Mx1 Yam 450
Omarsson Aron Mx2 Kaw 250
Sigurdarson Einar Open KTM 505

24 Mongolia
Khaliunbold E. Mx1
Temuujin Khadbaatar Mx2
Ganod Boldbaatar Open

25 Belarus
Tyletsky Evgeni Mx1 Suz 450
Sabirzianau Siarhei Mx2 Kaw 250
Hiruts Aliaksandr Open Hon 480

26 Russia
Astaykin Sergey Mx1 KTM 450
Bobrishev Evgeny Mx2 Yam 250
Tonkov Vitaly Open Yam 450

27 Netherlands
De Reuver Marc Mx1 Hon 450
Klein Kromhof C. Mx2 KTM 250
Verhoeven Bas Open Hon 450

28 New Zealand
Coppins Josh Mx1 Yam 450
Hurley Daryl Mx2 Suz
Cooper Cody Open Suz

29 Norway
Aulisether F. Mx1 Hon 450
Nyegaard Remi Mx2 Hon 250
Svins,s Lars T. Open Hon 450

30 Denmark
Jensen Kasper Mx1 Hon 450
Larsen Nikolaj Mx2 Suz 250
Jorgensen Rasmus Open Suz 250

31 Slovakia
Bucenec Tomas Mx1 Hon 450
Kohut Martin Mx2 KTM 250
Simko Tomas Open Hon 250

32 Finland
Pyrh”nen Antti Mx1 Hon 450
Kullas Harri Mx2 KTM 250
Seistola Matti Open Hon 450

33 Slovenia
Gercar Klemen Mx1 Yam 450
Irt Jernej Mx2 Yam 250
Kragelj Saso Open Yam 480

34 Hungary
Nemeth KornSl Mx1 KTM 450
Szvoboda Bence Mx2 KTM 250
Cluni L,sllo Open Hon 450

35 Lithuania
Agafonovas O. Mx1 Suz 450
Machrov Raimund Mx2 Yam 250
Bucas Vytautas Open Kaw 250

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